ELCA NEWS SERVICE
June 25, 2007
Lutheran Campus Ministry Celebrates Centennial June 25-29
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) Vocation and Education unit will celebrate Lutheran campus ministry's centennial anniversary, which will coincide with the annual continuing education conference at Loyola University Chicago, June 25-29.
"The centennial theme is comprised of three phrases, each emphasizing the ongoing mission of campus ministry: expanding minds, deepening faith, and inspiring service. These themes will be lifted up at our conference and echoed by our keynote speakers and various workshop presenters," said Sue Rothmeyer, director of campus ministry, ELCA Vocation and Education.
She said that 100 campus ministry staff members from a number of campuses are registered to attend.
On June 26 Sharon Daloz Parks, director of Leadership for the New Commons - an initiative of the Whidbey Institute, Clinton, Wash, will serve as the keynote speaker. Daloz Parks has held faculty and research positions at the Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Business School, and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. She also serves on the project staff of the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People of Faith. Valparaiso is an independent Lutheran institution.
Daloz Parks is the author of several books.
Christian Scharen, director of the Faith as a Way of Life/Pastoral Excellence Program and assistant professor (adjunct) of Congregational Studies and Practical Theology, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Conn., will speak on June 26. His most recent book, "One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God", is a theological evocation of the Christian faith seen through the lens of the rock band, U2.
The conference and centennial celebration will culminate on June 28, with worship to be held at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago. The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, will preach and a celebration will follow the service.
Conference participants will have the opportunity to share experiences through a number of workshops and recognize alumni in attendance with awards of recognition for their contributions to campus ministry.
Lutheran Campus Ministry began in 1907 with the calling of the Rev. Howard Gold to the University of Wisconsin, Madison. "It's the first time the Lutheran church identified a pastor specifically to be in ministry to and with the students on a public campus," said Rothmeyer.
By 1921 Lutheran student groups and individuals were interested in holding a national meeting. Thirty-nine students from 16 colleges and universities attended a conference at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). LTSP is one of eight ELCA seminaries. In 1922 the former Lutheran Brotherhood of America sponsored a gathering of students to an organizational meeting in Toledo, Ohio. At that meeting the Lutheran Student Association of America, now the Lutheran Student Movement, was formed, according to Rothmeyer.
One hundred years after its beginning, ELCA Campus Ministry continues to focus on student ministry from the base of Word and Sacrament. Its mission is to "invite people in academic settings more deeply into Jesus Christ and the community that bears his name, so that they can discover and fulfill their vocation as disciples."
There are 190 campus ministry agencies across the country, working with more than 400 Lutheran congregations. These efforts attract an estimated 4,400 students to worship each week, according to Rothmeyer.
Hanson reflected on his experiences with campus ministry in the introduction to "A Centennial Book of Essays Honoring Campus Ministry's 100th Year."
"My personal gratitude for campus ministry has deepened throughout my ministry. As the pastor of a large congregation at the edge of a Big Ten university campus, as bishop of a synod committed to deepening its relationship to campus ministry, and now from the perspective of the presiding bishop of the ELCA, I have rejoiced in campus ministry's mission to expand minds, deepen faith, and inspire service," Hanson wrote.
Information about ELCA Campus Ministry can be found at: http://www.ELCA.org/campusministry/ on the Web.
* Lauren A. Lamb is a senior public relations and speech communication major at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. This summer she is an intern with the ELCA News Service.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or email@example.com
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